Thursday, June 29, 2006

The online odd couple Rupert & Osama

Two men who understand the Web’s use and future: Osama & Rupert

As I watch about the WiBro networks launch in Korea on Ariang TV; I think to the odd couple but both Rupert Murdoch and Osama Bin Laden seem to be preaching thier message on the web and using this tool of communication to their advantage in ways most that ‘people’ don’t get it yet in Mainstream Media or in Government.

Take Bin Laden - from the start of this conflict people in his corner have been able using the web and old mules literally. - he’s even ploughing his new releases using the web -“New Bin Laden Audio Tape: Osama Speaks on the Death of Zarqawi -ABC News”

ABC Newsblogs site is already pre-plugging his releases.

I mean Al qaeda operatives from here in Asia to the middle east are using web enabled cell phones and browsers to keep in touch - at least reports say - using simple web based 'E-groups' and web groups to communicate using email accounts, forums, chat rooms ICQ and popular sites like friendster and myspace.

Ironically on a tool ‘the internet’ invented by the US Military scientists at first in WW2 to communicate and link early computers - to develop the first atom bomb the first networked computers were used.

Later on used by scientists with wider vision similar in form to reach the moon- it later developed into the old BBS system - now we have all that we have and information superhighways - broadband TV -

‘Nichecasting’ and spot narrow casting for those of us who use video as a tool.

A good article on the web base of media reading between the lines of a long article- though its not a geek speaking- it’s media mogul ‘ Rupert murdoch s’ and preaching about the the new web- funny for me when considering as a stringer or contributor to that #1 network he owns - I once got scolded for emailing things about new technology! ways to report the news from the field using new technology. The email -ironically was from a guy who left the ‘Foreign Desk’ ands now runs the Fox News news website! He's a cool dude- but - its one of those ironies of technology and movement in corporations.

Putting it context he didn’t want to bothered by ‘technology emails or software tips” onsidering how much news was flowing onto his email. It was clutter to him. Funny! to think about now really thank God I never erase an email! It after reading the boss's view as it were- will now go into my ‘priceless someday’ email collection - along with my email from a VP at CNN rejecting a story Idea I had way - way in 1996-1997 about ‘Oplan Bojinka…’ one of the pre-9-11 hijacking plots hatched by early days al qaeda. ‘No Technology emails’ - I almost want to laugh when I think about it.

Anyhow- Wired Magazine - on Murdoch’s views- it is an eye opener - but also shows the lack of understanding for 3G and 3.5G networks or new developments like Wibro - wireless broadband - to a guy who ought to looking more closely at it.

An example - cited in Murdoch’s P-O-V about it he does "Not see a guy watching a movie on a cell phone sitting on beach…" ok yeah true- but perhaps he’s not yet- considering he owns one of the worlds largest movie studios and content libraries and is trying to get broadband WFIMax nets set up across the USA - and perhaps it should be explained to him in other parts of the newscorp world.

He forgets - one little thing- more and more web use and browsing from cell phones - smart phones - in networks of fifty to 100 million users, like say in China or India - where a popular movie or even a simple as song’s ring tone downloaded can mean at a dollar a pop an entirely new way to distribute content.

Most new phones now have SD or MMC card with a capacity for 2 gigs on a small plastic memory card. A typical software based movie player using MP4 can store a movie in less 2 MB - meaning - on one phone on Mpeg 40 at high quality - on one memory card 10 movies! New MPEG 4 compression and Flash 8 video technology allows even five times less memory used when having this - so- news, movies, sports, etc. could be sold-sent-played back later- best of it all with things like flash or some cell phone based things is since it passes through phone networks. Murdoch perhaps does not see the potentail yet- but he and others in the movie biz ought to look at it that way.

Imagine for example if our own studios here in manila would allow someone to send buy and sell movies on cell phones - movies you could play back later on your PC - or news or sports events. Imagine if say smart and or globe- bought the rights to this weekends Pacman fight- and you could download or stream watch it live? Imagine interactive gaming (ie betting -gambling w/ sports ) at the same time. Wow!

Now piracy and cell phone based entertainment - like say - Passing on the movies that becomes a hassle some may say. But new tech like Flash 8 allows authors to put expiration dates that could be writen onto films making it secure from pirates by storing it on flash video over MP4.

In Korea for example TV’s sold have built in SD card readers and simple software to play phone based movies or photo’s.

Meaning beyond the phone- a person say on the way home from school or work get a sms about a movie and poof- they download it on the cell- instant payment because it goes on a phone bill. they get home and share it with the family.

Likewise- like something your local cable provider isn’t offering- hook up the phone and tune in from Cell based TV nets what you cant get on TV- so the phone becomes a gateway- and the small screen - now hooked up by say USB or bluetooth to a TV or PC is now a gateway for the new signal.

Or the subscriber saves movies or content to SD card- getting home they play it back on the LCD TV cum home PC entertainment system. they can burn it once to a DVD or transfer it another card. and add it to thier collection.

Yowsa baby! a popular little tool allows people on their lunch hour to watch that show they fell asleep on or browse in peace on high speed nets on - line via gprs or hrssd 3G networks ON the phones.

But as media moguls view the web and comunications networks for profits.

Others like OBL - view it as thier tool to reach hundreds of millions when blocked to terrstial networks or broadcasts. they can send pass on and make thier messages spread all over the wotld in a few hours after they upload to the web at large.

On Osama-

[]… A new Osama bin Laden audio is expected to be released within three days. On the tape, bin Laden will talk about the death of Abu Musab Zarqawi. More details to come….[] ABC News the blotter

So imagine that - ABC News plugging a upcoming release! that just shows how tech and technology have even entered the realm of cyber-plugging terror.

So from Billionare media moguls to extremist rebels the web is taking new forms and shapes to spread information - one line in the wired artcle on Rupert’s view does make a lot of sense - describing the web itself.

[]… ” To find something comparable, you have to go back 500 years to the printing press, the birth of mass media – which, incidentally, is what really destroyed the old world of kings and aristocracies. Technology is shifting power away from the editors, the publishers, the establishment, the media elite. Now it’s the people who are taking control.” And he’s smiling.” …[] Wired

So as one can see it is inserting to view the entire spectrum for capitalist to rebel to extremist the web both good and bad parts of it has been taking on shapes many of its original inventors never imagined. Oh and yes- in some ways Osama and Rupert both are on thier space online!

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Historic preservation:Petition for Baguio

Asia Travel blogger - Asia Travel and other Ramblings

Who describes themselves as - ” Living in the Philippines offers a chance to explore these islands and get to know the people. It is not always paradise and I try to show all sides. ” Petition for Baguio

Posted a petition for Baguio online its been going around the web - seeking to control the over-development a major issue not only for the City of pines but in many places where history has been repeatedly torn down to make way for the new over the old.

[]… “… the City of Baguio deserves to be declared a “Special Heritage Zone,” so that the degradation brought about by overdevelopment can be minimized and gradually controlled. We believe that Baguio City’s heritage as a center of culture and environmental awareness is a valuable asset not just to the Philippines, but also to the world. … []

So far over 170 copies have come down many major names on the list go to the site and follow the instructions if you are interested - it is always a worthy cause to save a bit of heritage many places throw aside in favor of the new and splashy.

NY Times & Bush Admin: 15mins of posing

President Bush is up in arms over the snooping report the New York Times and other media outlets raised on the ’so called secret” bank transactions snooping on US nationals and corporations to check into the sources of those funding groups linked to terrorism.
Its clearly just another issue the Bush administration is stretching bit to improve poll numbers among conservative voters.

[] … The US president has accused US newspapers of hampering the “war on terror” by publishing details of a secret scheme to track money transfers. George W Bush defended the scheme and said the disclosure was “disgraceful”. BBCNEWS … []

But -the entire program is outlined in the reports of governments activities versus terrorism - here :

[] … Financial Action Task Force on Money LaunderingInter-governmental body developing and promoting policies to combat money laundering and terrorist… … []

I mean its not spelled out in exact details - but - it goes over the program and is on a public access website. Everyone else in the world has their accounts regularly scrutinized over the sending of funds abroad. Most worry nothing about it unless you have something to hide.

Looking at the media reports you would think some major scoop had been scored by the NY Times when in actuality its al out there in the public domain.

On the side of the white house its a easy way to take a snap at a media outlet over the something that looks almost treason - when in reality its nothing but political posturing to make poll numbers rise among a specific constituency.

So the saga will drag on - they will blister and pucker and act like peacocks for a few weeks.
Bottom line- if the Bush administration feels some law was violated. File charges in court. If the NY Times feels its right were violated- file charges before the supreme court for culpable violations of the constitution - a impeachable offense. Otherwise- you both got the thing you wanted everyone’s attention now we can all go back to sleep and wait for the next ‘pseudo scandal’ to emerge.

Philippines: American Arrested for recruiting ‘guards’ for Iraq

The Philippines has banned the deployment of Filipino workers to Iraq- even though thousands still are in the country- new recruitment in the Philippines is banned by law.

A American citizen of Philippine origin was arrested by government agents for illegally recruiting over 100 AWOL (absent without leave) members of the Philippine Armed forces - and retired military personnel for the 'shotgun' escort duty.

( NOTE:engaging in the recruitment of labor for overseas employment on a large scale is a crime here without proper registration.)

Statement on the POEA website at:

POEA not sending civilian fighters to

Iraq, Afghanistan
The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) does not process documents of Filipinos hired as “civilian fighting force” for deployment to Iraq and Afghanistan.
The July 2004 ban on deployment of Filipino workers to Iraq has not been lifted and the reported deployment of security forces to Iraq and Afghanistan did not pass the documentation system of the government.
The government allowed the recruitment of Filipino workers for Iraq in the latter part of 2003 but only for deployment to campsites which were found safe from attacks from Iraqi rebels and terrorists. Most of the deployed workers were assigned to do construction, maintenance, housekeeping, and catering jobs inside American camps.
The deployment of Filipinos to Afghanistan was also allowed but was limited to professionals working in projects controlled by the United Nations (UN). POEA processed the contracts of these workers only after endorsement and clearance from the Department of Foreign Affairs.

It pretty much an open and shut case- most likely seen to end in either a large fine or a sentence or both- that's up to the courts.

Full story below: 05:41pm NBI nabs Fil-Am sending retired, AWOL soldiers to Iraq

There are thousands of legal Philippine citizen employees of various global security firms who follow proper laws and regulations - which are in place to protect these workers.Who after-all do put their lives on the line for the various projects built in harms way all over the world.
This is not a anti-iraq or anti-war on terror action - as I'm sure some right wing bloggers might see it - but a simple case of not properly setting up and getting the legal permits.

But- while the Philippine government has travel restrictions to Iraq for Filipinos in the wake of kidnappings there. thousands do work there and carry out the jobs they do with the full knowledge of them being on their own in that country.

There are no restrictions for Afghanistan or other parts of the middle east though.

Looking for information on overseas employment?

For the complete list of recruitment and manning agencies that send Filipino workers abroad:

For tips on how to avoid illegal recruitment:

For the revised rules and regulations on overseas employment of land-based workers:

For the labor code of the Philippines discussing the provisions on overseas employment:

For the migrant workers and overseas Filipino act of 1995:

Philippines: Military reports says “Pirates killed chinese fishermen” in disputed S. China Sea isles.

It's official - but long been suspected a couple of months after the report of the deaths of four Chinese fishermen off the coast of Palawan - near the Municipality of Kalayaan. Were the victims of pirates.

[] … Pirates killed 4 Chinese fishers — WesCom chief
Journal Online, Philippines - to Danga, the final results of a military investigation showed that the ship that attacked the Chinese fishermen was “definitely” not from the Philippines. … []

Now- the pirate problem must be put into context of just how far flung this area is - this is one of those places in the world that would make a perfect set for a part two to Kevin Kostner's Waterworld film of the few years ago.

I mean this place is remote- if Obi Wan Kenobi had hdden luke here - there never would have been a trillogy ok? its that remote. But not to fishermen who come from thousands of kilometers away to fish in its waters.

It is hard for Navies to maintain presence and patrols in the area because the few islands here are like small armed camps. There are three maybe four small runways on small reefs - One malaysian, one Vietnamese, another chinese and lastly Pag-Asa the Philippine Island that actually has a runway that dates way back… but has been rebuilt several times - since.

All the small bases are far off and watermakers are the source of life for all the Islands execpt for Kalayaan. Which does have fresh water a few homes and small military base.

Now the thousands of fishermen from each of the nations conflicting claims over the islands just within the Philippines EEZ - some form of cooperation is needed. And some form of joint patrols and coordination too… but til borders and claims and other issues are settled the fishermen are going to be targets for those who have the boats and guns in the area that can get to the vessels which on the average value several hundred thousand dollars in the cargo of fish they carry alone - making them targets for the wolves who prey the seas.

So it was pirates- as this blog said all along. Now perhaps if the countries could work on some means to work together perhaps this tragic incident could be avoided and new ways to thwart the wolves of the sea - be put into place.

Philippines: feud over land leaves 25 dead

The Talakag, Bukidnon land feud which has pitched battles between local farmers and tribal groups has developed into a week long series of pitched battles similar to the old Texas - Oklahoma range wars for the wild west.

The area is a remote part of hinterland Mindanao - where fertile upland soils allows almost anything to grow. near this area adding to the problems are major clashes between the military and rebels groups. Giving police a tough time to quash the feud - its also an area where heavily armed groups reside - this is really rough and tumble country and yet home to perhaps one of the best developed rural farming areas on Mindanao Island.

[] … Land dispute in Mindanao leaves 25 dead
ABS CBN News, Philippines - . Clan wars and vendetta killings, which are common in the southern Philippines, sometimes last for years and even decades, until a pact is reached or blood … []

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Mimi for Governor:” the right to bare breasts?” -only in Nevada

They always say journalists left alone with a web connection overnight can find the strangest stories - Sheila is no exception - PCIJ did a great story on a Fil-AM who is making waves in the USA by running for Governor in the 'Sin State' of Nevada.

[] …Mimi Miyagi for governor: The right to bear arms and breasts">The right to bear arms and breasts

By Sheila Coronel PCIJ — SHE’S hot, sexy and a Filipino-American single mother who went to college in Bukidnon. A card-carrying member of the Republican Party and the National Rifle Association, she is also running for governor of Nevada. … []

Mimi has her own blogsite here and several others - warning- adult content is present but albeit this one is a little more or less tame.

But still don't laugh at her chances - most of Nevada's Political figures certainly are not as interesting as Mimi's uh er figure that is- I expect in the days and weeks ahead- we will be hearing more about Mini and her campaign.

Good Luck… you need that in Nevada.

FYI TV.Net : Pasig River dreams....

Environment Feature

Dream River

News image

It is nice to watch children build their dreams, albeit on sand castles, but to see those dreams fall apart along the banks of a dying river negates the essence of both childlike faith… and dreams. —Ces Vitan

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Another one...

[] ...IFJ decries killing of journalist and wife

Media Release: The Philippines June 20, 2006

Journalist and wife killed in the Philippines -- The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) decries the killing of a journalist and his wife in the Philippines.
Unidentified attackers reportedly shot and killed couple, George Vigo and Macel Alave-Vigo in the Sandawa district of the Philippines on June 19, 2006. ...[]

A book that’s covered in blood

[]… The newly released adventure novel Palawan” has it all. There is an exotic tropical island location. … [] Bookwire

Often comes along a book-or movie that seeks to profit from a very real tragedy - it is the stuff of legend that some people like to see $$$$ over telling the real stories which are harder to do - this author from Las Vegas - perhaps not gutsy enough to write about all the tragic suffering in his own city.

Seeks to look for misery on distant shores. In the essence of free speech yes it is his write to do so - but that does not make it right for anyone to do so without putting facts on the table even in a book of non-fiction.

So another swipe at my old hometown takes place from a guy living where I once did in a place that has more than enough violence, bloodly clashes, crime, and kidnapping than ever happened in entire history of the island who chooses to malign by naming his book after.

One day perhaps - he’ll even go there on the profits perhaps of his book. But I doubt he’ll ever do so- looks like a typical shut-in type who wouldn’t know the much bigger story and intrigue that lies right before his eyes and the very real horror of the crimes of his city he chooses to ignore- Like I hope people will his book.

How he shames the memory of the lives lost - of the tragedy and victory in the end that makes the real story of what happened so much better to read.

Sino ba talaga? : who is who...

Will the real group please stand-up?

A group's name is more than name… esp. when crimes are attributed to it -

a text barrage reached many reporters and journalists today in Manila sowing even more confusion about a similar named group that has been making calls to media outlets and sending messages claiming responcibility for bomb attacks in the Capitol.

Read on for more as the puzzle and text inflow flows across the airwaves and broadcasts and webspace.

It is often a puzzle as to who is who in this often times muddled period of trying to figure out what's-what and who's-who and where is what…
As well as who is part of this and or that?

Confused? try to read on…

[] … 'Real' TABAK disowns blasts
After weeks of hearing from a group called TABAK that claims responsibility for a spate of bombings in Metro Manila and Pampanga, another group claiming to be the “real” members of the Taongbayan at Kawal (TABAK) surfaced on Monday disavowing any hand in the wave of bombings.
The Manila Times …[]

The UN upgrade a new and improved Human Rights body...

UN News Center Report:
[].... Annan inaugurates UN’s strengthened Human Rights Council with appeal for ‘new era’

Human Rights Council inaugural session
19 June 2006 The new United Nations Human Rights Council held its inaugural session today, with Secretary-General Kofi Annan calling for “a clean break from the past” and a “new era” as the enhanced body seeks to give teeth to the protection of rights for all, an issue that often seemed to elude its much-criticized predecessor.

“What must be apparent, above all, is a change in culture,” Mr. Annan told representatives from over 100 countries at the first meeting of the 47-member body in Geneva, appealing for an end to the confrontation and distrust that pervaded the now-replaced Human Rights Commission. .... []

More Un related stroies and topics can be found here:

Top UN envoy to Somalia calls for dialogue with ‘Islamic Court’ militias
Access for humanitarian aid getting worse in Sudan despite accord: UN officials
With UN rights council’s inauguration, experts cite Myanmar’s detained rights leader
UN-backed jury honours traditional lending of pregnant cows in Niger
To counter nuclear terrorism, UN urges phasing out civilian use of high enriched uranium
Accepting a commemorative painting, Annan hails US role in founding UN
UN labour agency calls on Myanmar to act against forced labour
Swiss watchmaker Swatch issues special Human Rights Council product
Annan calls on young people to remind Governments of their development goal pledges
UN agency launches multi-million dollar transport project to curb greenhouse gases
Afghanistan: UN calls on national, international forces to avert civilian casualties
World’s poorest countries see some growth but poverty rates persist – UN report
UN announces launch of global alliance for information technologies for development

Monday, June 19, 2006

Grudge Grenade blast?

Police in the Philippines are looking at a explosion in the capitol metropolis premiere city of makati as a 'grudge grenading' reports say.
The the blast early Monday morning as commuters and the public were concerned over a bomb threat at dive shop in the city.
The blast seems to have stemmed from an angry security guard who got into a argument - talk about a short fuse.
Police say they are looking into the idea that the incident led to the small blast that caused some damage but was left in a place where no one was injured.

What no one seems to be explaining is where the heck did the grenade come from? This isn't Mindanao or Mindoro but Makati! Anyhow old saying never argue with man with a gun or grenade as one of three things may go off!

Ah life in these islands never seems to lack a dull moment. Something always happens to make life a little more interesting... report below:

  • [] ... A GRENADE exploded at a scuba diving apparel store in Makati City Monday, an official said. Southern Police District Director Chief Superintendent Wilfredo Garcia said the 6:30 a.m. explosion came from a plant box outside the Aqua Venture in Mayapis St. corner Paul St. ...[]

Looking at this story below I often wonder if anyone has looked at the direct decline in language skills and the decline in English language programs on television. Yes, TV - I mean take the percentage of TV shows in English and then look say back to 1995 and then to today and just do a air-time survey in metro manila and other parts of the country then look at the numbers overall.

The shift did not improve ratings - the ratings posted of 9 and 10's at night say for news and current affairs shows and other programs are about the same for the two major networks.

No late night news program has equaled say the ten year stint of TV Patrol of high 20's or low to mid 30's in ratings. even if you add or factor in the numbers game that is TV after all.

The same can be said for canned shows - and the sitcoms - numbers per time slot are about the same in either language - but- the effect on the level of English proficiency is clear. So in part - look also at radio broadcasts - notwithstanding AM; which has for many decades been the home of Tagalog or other regional dialects. But FM entertainment or music radio, Have ratings improved with the shift in language overall - not really -its the music after all not the announcers or dj's people want to hear more than anything.

So what I am saying is perhaps - if indeed there are those who want to see higher level of language proficiency in English in the country considering only the numbers of BPO opportunities predicted in the next ten years as more and more companies go off-shore for the service economy sector - perhaps by keeping some level of one of the two national languages out the on the air - perhaps - there might be a reflected level of increase in proficiency seen.

[]... Arroyo out to reverse skid in English skills - By RENE Q. BAS Sunday Times Editor
President Arroyo has set aside P600 million to upgrade the skills of teachers in English and help reverse the deterioration in the proficiency of Filipino students in the language.
Sources in the Cabinet told The Manila Times Sunday that through a package if Mrs. Arroyo wants to increase the Filipinos’ competitiveness in business-processes outsourcing (BPO). ... []

The advertiser would not mind - because the ratings would be about the same based on viewer habits, the people would not mind maybe- because like with manufacturing which is almost non-extent in most western countries the service sector is going off-shore in the developed world because the costs of maintaining on demand 24/7 24 hours a day seven days a week full call center coverage is too high - most likely daytime hours in the developed world would in some form still remain on shore- but- those firms seeings 24hour penetration would to be cost competitive move the jobs to where the needs could be met - and service given at lower cost.

It is ironic to me that perhaps some of the largest providers of call center space are broadcasters - they use their telecoms facilities to beef up those service industries that have located to here- and yet- end up having to double hop outsource to India themselves on pass on schemes in order to meet customer demand.

If I see this correctly it is ironic that by their programing options years ago - they lowered the employment pool margin for language skills by their actions. funny... in a way... ironic too.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Mt Bulusan Erupts: evacautions updates

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Reporting news is like the ‘Three sides of a coin’

Looking around and wondering a fellow journalist based with a major international news organization based in Asia sent me the tags for the two stories listed below: He wasn’t questioning the Government sources - but the news organizations.

I had to say you have to believe them both - i worked for many years with one and know a lot of people at the other. Both got the story right. But to untrained and unschooled in the Philippine theater of terror’s war the reports look like they are saying different things.

[] …Gonzales warns of more bombings
National Security Adviser Norberto Gonzales warned of more violence by groups out to destabilize the Arroyo administration, ANC reported Saturday. (6/17/2006 6:04:07 PM)

No immediate threat of terror attacks – defense official
First posted 02:19pm (Mla time) June 17, 2006
By Joel Guinto - THE Philippines is under no immediate threat from terrorist attacks, notwithstanding the latest travel advisory from the United States’ State Department to its citizens here, defense and military officials said Saturday. … []
But in reality- NO… The Military is right in saying the US warning is nothing new just a warning to its nationals - the USEC in charge for the counter terrorism cluster in the palace is correct in saying the situation from his viewpoint on the groups mentioned in the US warden notice of possible terror threats is perhaps dated.

On the other hand the national security adviser has described another group not those mentioned in the Warden notice. But a new emerging threat from a shadowy group called ‘TABAK’ - not the groups mentioned above. If its confusing it is because perhaps that terror groups or rebel factions and other organizations are really rarely monolithic here as in many places.

So yes there are threats and plots and yes there has been little heard from other groups of late in particular after arrests made in the south recently. Also one must remember there are many schools of thought at play here- both civilian leaders and law enforcement and the military often play down some threats for reasons only known to them - often called tactical maneuvers to lull an an opponent of Government into to thinking no one is looking while in fact all efforts continue to try and draw them out so they can be brought to justice.

So to answer my fellow journo covering from afar- yes both reports are right - and both media organizations got it correct. Like in all things read the fine print and you’ll see they are actually thinking and talking about too different groups and event threats.

In covering this place - one has to remember what I was taught so long ago that like a coin there are three sides to a story.

Three you ask? a coin only has two? Heads and or Tails!

Wrong look closely take a coin in your hands and check - it has three look at heads, then tails. then look at the middle. because as thin as it is - that is a side the middle of the coin and the thin side is often where journalists must try to be and looking on to either side and seeing what indeed each is saying.

y mikeinmanila | Uncategorized, news, News and politics, health, sex, News Of China, asia, war on terror, terrorism, Views, war, philippines, Democrats, immigration, Filipino, Bush, freedom of speech, Buhay ofw, Global Warming, Pinoy, East Timor, republican, border security, free speech, al qaeda, Palawan, Dubai, Al Gore, OFW, abu sayyaf, fil-am,

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Three persons were killed in renewed fighting in the Philippines two on the rebel side and one soldier this comes a day after the Philippine president reported to members of the Military of her order to wipe out the insurgency in two years.

[]… Three killed in Camarines Sur clash - A soldier and two communist guerrillas have been killed in a battle in Camarines Sur, the military said. An Army Scout Ranger unit clashed with a five-member New People's Army (NPA) patrol at dawn in a village near Buhi town on the Bicol peninsula, leaving a ranger and two NPA rebels dead, a military report said. … []

While today's clash in the Bicol region is part of the day to day activities of the insurgency that has claimed over 40,000 lives on all side since 1969.

The new offensive versus NPA bared by Government earmarks over One Billion pesos in funds to be used for a 'intensified campaign' versus the rebels.

Reports linking to statements of government on this below:

June 17th, 2006 Posted by mikeinmanila | Uncategorized, news, News and politics, asia, war on terror, terrorism, war, philippines, Filipino, Buhay ofw, Pinoy, OFW, fil-am, filipino-american

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Labels: some apply them too fast and the effect can be deadly…

I was reading carols conde's blog-column on a case of a label given a journalist may have put her life and that of her family in jeopardy.
I after that to myself I wondered how many labels journalists face for the work they do when more often than it is because of the stories we write or cover we are seen as what we are.

When in most cases its just a case of the fact that those stories come to us or editors assign us to a topic or beat and we get good at covering it so much that news organizations when ever another story like that pops up -that's the assignment we are given.

[] …. Labeled for Death?

For contradicting the military’s propaganda against the New People’s Army, a hard-hitting Kidapawan journalist is being vilified by the army as a communist, thus putting her life in grave danger. … []

I remember for years I carried a environmentalist journalist label because I climbed hills and valleys and did stories on illegal poaching of lumber- then I was also thought of as a fugitive hunter = then a pedophile chaser - then a crime reporter- then a expose guy- then a financial journalist- then a foreign affairs reporter- then a 'world news' guy… but hey all of those were assignments.

All of those labels were just part of the process of covering stories I was assigned to.

Also because those were stories I was assigned to cover.

I am sure that the Military officer may have his reasons for his opinion - but - instead of branding the messenger perhaps he should get some remedial personality training on public affairs and public relations.

More often than not - some of what we cover does 'rub off on us' so perhaps it does bear a problem.

In another part of the country where i grew up - Palawan - there are claims of another kind of labels pinned on one group of people. The Local Environment paper Bandillo ng Palawan was 'labeled' by of all people other media outlets - for 'BLOGS' about them - c'mon guys grow up anything journalists hate to write about is other journalists -why because we have very boring lives! And there are more interesting topics out there.

So be careful with labels or tags or postscripts or things that can in this trigger happy place make someone a target. Lastly always remember that reverse labels also apply.

Meaning - pre-labeled or pre packaged to appear as something one is not.

[] … Mind Game

7 Jun 2006 by Bandillo ng Palawan We were flooded with text messages from concerned listeners who informed us that DYER, which is widely known to be under the control of Puerto Princesa City Mayor Edward Hagedorn, had named Bandillo ng Palawan as the possible creator of Bandillo ng Palawan - …[]

June 13th, 2006 Posted by mikeinmanila | Uncategorized, philippines, Pinoy, Palawan |

Tuesday, June 13, 2006


US embassy confirming Bush in Iraq...

Surprise Visit to Baghdad...


White House loaded press corps onto bus to go see Bush at Camp David, then when bus left -- announced he was in Iraq!

Sunday, June 11, 2006

“You stole the election not once… but twice…” could be a title of Kennedy expose?

I recall the quote from Susan Roces; she made it at a press conference.. at the Club Filipino in San Juan.

Miss Roces statement I borrow in not the context of the electoral process here… But perhaps the lady could be speaking about the US Presidential election or so says Robert Kennedy Jr.

In an artcle that came out on June 1st in Rolling Stone Magazine.


[]… " The issue of what happened in 2004 is not an academic one. For the second election in a row, the president of the United States was selected not by the uncontested will of the people but under a cloud of dirty tricks. Given the scope of the GOP machinations, we simply cannot be certain that the right man now occupies the Oval Office - which means, in effect, that we have been deprived of our faith in democracy itself.

American history is littered with vote fraud - but rather than learning from our shameful past and cleaning up the system, we have allowed the problem to grow even worse. If the last two elections have taught us anything, it is this: The single greatest threat to our democracy is the insecurity of our voting system. If people lose faith that their votes are accurately and faithfully recorded, they will abandon the ballot box. Nothing less is at stake here than the entire idea of a government by the people.

Voting, as Thomas Paine said, "is the right upon which all other rights depend." Unless we ensure that right, everything else we hold dear is in jeopardy. " …[]

So - it would seem in this rather long rolling stone magazine article that electoral fraud claims cited in the USA is something that might want to make people worry about purchasing electoral automation equipment from there- this is not some conspiracy theorist article - but- as is well thought out and shows - a well put together and believable story - a clear example of the claim that I wonder if people will take seriously.

I know it's a touchy subject and anything that put in doubt results of the peoples will is something that should be looked into … considering the source … it might be well worth looking into … I mean if anyone knows about 'manipulating' the US electoral process - as I remember from Poilitcal History don't the Kenndy's do?

So those who are debating on the automation process might want to read about that as alleged by RFK Jr. - automation is not a garantee of clean electiions.'s blog had this to say…

[]… Punishing the cheats, not election automation,is real solution — local IT pioneer">is real solution — local IT pioneer

[]… “They are blaming the manual system as the cause of cheating or that it makes cheating easy,” Verzola says. “But that is not correct. The system can be slow or fast but there will still be cheating unless you punish the cheats.”

In many instances, Verzola says, it is obvious who commits electoral fraud. But since they just get away with their crime, they just keep on doing it. “They even get promoted, occupy the highest positions in this country.” …[]

June 11th, 2006 Posted by mikeinmanila | Uncategorized, news, News and politics, sex, News Of China, asia, war on terror, Views, war, philippines, Democrats, Filipino, Bush, Rants, Raves, Whathaveyou..., freedom of speech, protests, republican, border security, free speech, Al Gore, fil-am, filipino-american |

Friday, June 09, 2006

CBS News: report on Manila seems so stuck in the past…

I watched this report and looked at the topic and saw one thing very weird with this "Letter from Asia" segment of a reporter who 'parachuted in' - its stuck in the past.
There was one interview a columnist -so one view- no government side- no attempt to interview people on location- one sitdown at a five star hotel and poof- story- boy I wonder how much they spent to run file video. Nice file though.
Yes there are truths to story but CBS- dits not deep enough to even consider anything but a -hack job-they Didn't go to Ortigas or Eastwood or Alabang or even Makati-
if I'm not mistaken they ddint even cross the pasig river!!!! HAHAHAHA
Anyhow it is news on 'Manila' so I guess they decided to not go beyond the city limits…
No wonder they are losing thier audiance… oh well… watch it and weep.
People often ask me why there not more stories on the US networks of whats happening here - its because - this is the view of the country most of the producers and reporters have - more often than not - they never leave the comfort of thier surroundings - And they wonder why I cant get more stories out of here?
I blame the latte crowd of editors and desk editors who wouldn't know a real story if it bit em on the behind!!!
Arrghhh… this gets me mad… so one sided it wouldn't even pass the muster for local TV newscasts - what happened CBS?
Can't afford the cab fare to go beyond the hotel lobby? And so walk the two blocks to the seawall for a standup?

Yeeaassshhh… whata waste! still good or bad it is publicty for the country- shame though it paints only one jaded old timer view of 'things in spin' package.
June 9th, 2006 Posted by mikeinmanila | Uncategorized, news, News and politics, asia, Views, philippines, Filipino, Rants, Raves, Whathaveyou..., freedom of speech, protests, republican, border security, free speech, Al Gore, OFW, filipino-american

ASG links to Oklahoma City Bombing to be formally probed in US Congress?

Strange story On-line - I've often seen this one raised of a link between the bombings in Oklahoma City and the ASG and other groups…. Its been the fodder of conspiracy theorists for over a decade now.

There is some truth to the formula used may have indeed come from Cebu - where Terry Nicols wife was from - but- its a common formula - the ammonium nitrate and diesel fuel mix used to make the truck bomb that Tim and Terry used to blow up the Murrah Federal building. So while it may have been inspired by dynamite fishers in the Cebu area- its somewhat a stretch to most people who look at the story.

[] …. " In what some on Capitol Hill are calling a surprising decision, Rep. Henry Hyde, R-Ill., has given the nod for hearings into the long-debated question of whether those responsible for the bombing of the Oklahoma City federal building had help from any foreign source. Spurred to action by Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif., Hyde has given Rohrabacher's Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee of the House International Relations Committee the wide-ranging authority to conduct interviews and subpoena documents related to the April 19, 1995, terrorist attack that left 168 dead, 19 of them children." …. []

I wonder if Dana Rohrabacher is planning to hold hearings here in the country- there a whole bunch of people who do have information on the alleged meetings between some and the bombers in Oklahoma… it is a fact that Nicol's did come here to the Philippines in the years prior to the attack.

There are several people who have written about a alleged meeting between him and Khalid Shiek Mohamad who was in the country at around the same time - both were here- BUT- aside from that so were 77 million other people- True also is the testimony of Edwin Angeles - in a declaration he alleged to have met with Al Qaeda members and Nicol's in a Karaooke Bar in Cebu.

But remember- there is so much of this kind of stuff out there… it is good idea to look into it. Even if only to eliminate theory from reason and conjecture.

Or so the story goes… Jeyna Davis, is one person who has been chasing this story for a long time was reporter from a local KFOR a local TV station in Okka. City -

i swapped emails with her when I still was working in local TV here- but all my follow-up on this topic is often met officially by looks to check if i'm a straight jacket! Or checks to see if any tisoys have escaped from the national mental health institute in mandaluyong.

Well I do hope this investigation does come up with something… theres tons of reports out there on this much of it official record. It should be interesting to watch the outcome.

[]…. In his letter seeking authority for hearings, Rohrabacher wrote: "It is highly likely that the Arab connection and/or the Strassmeir connection played a significant role in the planning and execution of the murderous bombing of the OKC federal building. In both possible scenarios, the official investigation fell short and further investigation has been discouraged ever since." …[]

June 9th, 2006 Posted by mikeinmanila | Uncategorized, news, News and politics, health, asia, war on terror, war, philippines, Afghanistan, Filipino, Bush, Rants, Raves, Whathaveyou..., Buhay ofw, Pinoy, republican, free speech, al qaeda, OFW, abu sayyaf

Sunday, June 04, 2006

UN scandal: UN orders staff not to cooperate with Dili massacre investigation

powered by ODEO

A Filipino police officer who is still in critical condition in a hospital and along with twenty others injured cannot count on the UN for assistance in the investigation trying to catch the murderers who massacred Police officers in Dili.

Even to though the Massacare is the key element that is believed to have led to riots and anarchy in Dil; a massive cover up is underway with memrandum issued to UN staff who witnessed and saw and even in some cases took pictures of the six men who in cold blood killed a half dozen. Reports from both East Timor and Australia have revealed.

[] … "A letter from the UN's deputy representative in Timor, Pakistani General Anis Bajwa, had been circulated to all staff, including employees evacuated to Australia, directing them not to assist AFP detectives investigating the worst atrocity since the violence of 1999". …[] The Age reports
Based on the reports a Pakistani UN Police commander actions led the injuries and put his men in the line of fire - and right into the murderous bands hands.

The sudden order to all UN staff in east timor has raised the spectare that the Pakistanti Police chief actions and failure to comprehend what the armed bands would do even if he was warned led the deahs of those unarmed police.

[]… "He was told by all his advisers not to take them out there, but he would not listen," sources close to the investigation said. "He kept insisting the presence of the UN could protect them." …[] The Age

Witness reports say he even ordered the Pinoy peacekeepers to be 'disarmed' - something reportedly they refussed to do - perhaps the only reason they got out alive. and managed to get the injured out. Noiw come the deputy cheif of Pakaistani orgin and also a military man ordering staff not cooperate with the investigation being conducted by Australian Federal Police in the area at East Timors request to do an impartial investigation.
[]… UN order fuels cover-up claim, Australia -
100m from their headquarters when two soldiers opened fire, killing 12 officers and wounding at least 20, including UN police protectors from the Philippines. …[]

June 4th, 2006 Posted by mikeinmanila | Uncategorized, news, News and politics, asia, war on terror, Views, war, philippines, Democrats, Filipino, Rants, Raves, Whathaveyou..., Pinoy, protests, East Timor, border security, fil-am

Terrorists Targeting Toronto Thwarted

Thwarted reports say Mounties tag 17 in major counter terror operation. Links below:

[]…. Toronto Star Coverage:

Seventeen people arrested last night have been charged with terror-related offences, the RCMP said this morning. Six of the adults arrested are from Mississauga, two from Kingston and four from Toronto.

Three tonnes of the fertilizer ammonium nitrate were seized in relation to the alleged plot, three times as much as was used in the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing.

The TTC was not a target, the RCMP says.

Men attended 'training camp': Sources (June 3)

Internet monitoring sparked probe (June 3) …. []

[]… Globe and Mail:

Massive terror attack averted: RCMP(Comment61)

Counterterrorism raids Friday result in 17 arrests; "homegrown" group had plans to attack targets in Ontario, police allege 12:20 PM (Comment61)

Saturday, June 03, 2006

‘The Impunity’ in Philippines Death Squad attacks

MELINDA Quintos de Jesus, executive director of the Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility (CMFR), writes about the spate of killings of journalists in the Philippines in a column for the Inquirer today. She views the killings from a historical perspective and looks back to the period right after the restoration of democracy in 1986. …[]
On another note there has been in the last 24 hours two attacks on Politcal figures in the country. The Bomb attack on the H2 Hummer of the Governor of Batangas Province south of manila has raised 'new concerns' as Police anew are pointing to destablaizers and or Politcal elements into the issue. 2 security men of the Governor gave thier lives and got him out of the vechile before a second blast.

Also today a manhunt has been ordered after 3 gunmen open fire on mayor of a small town in politcal election hearing protest in Mindanao. That case is still developing. Police are repoedtly chasing down the suspects.

Meanwhile a report out of Cebu… a trip made by a US embassy consul seeking information on the allegations of a 'CDS' that is allegedly a 'vigilante groups' -

didnt see much of this in the news - on TV or print in the major daillies.

On the wide spread activities of those groups who in the name of 'instant justice' kill with impunity…

[] … US ‘concerned’ about murders
Sun.Star, Philippines - 22 hours ago
Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña earlier said he will not prioritize going after the If these killings remain unsolved, this will put the Philippines in a bad light… …[]

Read more »

June 2nd, 2006 Posted by mikeinmanila | Uncategorized, news, News and politics, war on terror, war, philippines, Afghanistan, immigration, Rants, Raves, Whathaveyou..., al qaeda, Palawan, abu sayyaf, Jemaah Islamiah |

Thursday, June 01, 2006

2 Filipinos & other Darul Islam members arrested named

Malaysia releases names of accused terrorists held under ISA as susspected terrorist:

The two Filipinos are:
* Jeknal Adil, 22 (labourer) from Tawau, Sabah,
* Binsali Omar, 40, (company supervisor with Malaysian PR status) from Sabah.

The six Malaysians detained are:
* Mohd Nazri Dollah, 31, (teacher) from Tawau, Sabah,
* Mohd Arshad Patangari, 22, (teacher) from Tawau, Sabah,
* A. Artas Burhanuddin, 38, (timber grader) from Tawau, Sabah,
* Francis Indanan, 38, (taxi driver) from Tawau, Sabah,
* Adzmi Pindatun, 22, (unemployed) from Tawau, Sabah, and
* Idris Lanama, 31, (dates trader) from Klang, Selangor.

The three Indonesian are:
* Aboud Ghafar Shahril, 38, (temporary teacher) from Tawau, Sabah, * Zainuddin Suharno, 28, from Central Java, and
The media report quotes the Malaysian National News Agency Bernama

June 1st, 2006 Posted by mikeinmanila | Uncategorized, news, News and politics, health, pirates, asia, war on terror, terrorism, Views, war, philippines, Democrats, Afghanistan, immigration, Filipino, Rants, Raves, Whathaveyou..., freedom of speech, border security, al qaeda, abu sayyaf, fil-am, Jemaah Islamiah |

Somalia: Pinoy seamen held hostage by pirates

Somalia Pirates: 19 filipinos still captive -

Just posting a few links for those tracking this story of 19 crewmen in somolia - if I am not moistaken the report was - denied by the DFA.

[]... “There is no report of this hijacking incident,” saidPhilippine charge d'affaires to Nairobi Bernadette Muller, citing her conversation with Joe Gordon, chief security adviser of the United Nations Field Security Coordination Office in Somalia.THE Department of Foreign Affairs on Tuesday belied reports that heavily armed pirates hijacked a United Arab Emirates-registered oil tanker carrying 19 Filipino crew members off the coast of Somalia. ...[] INQ7 report

[]... DFA belies hijack report of UAE tanker off Somalia - INQ7.netIn Malacañang, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo instructed the DFA to look ... Since March 15 last year, pirates have hit 40 ships off Somalia but many ... - 44k ... []

So then why is there a palace press release on this mater? looks like some government agencies aren't talking ... perhaps?

[]... Kin of kidnapped Pinoy seamen appeal to Arroyo
The wives of 19 Filipino seamen who were kidnapped by Somali pirates last March appealed Thursday to President Arroyo for help in securing the release of their husbands.... []

More background:

[]... Banadir.comSOMALIA : Philipines to seek help in hostage negotiations Manila, Philipines ... Somali pirates demand $400 000 for release of ship Mogadishu, Somalia ...[]

NAIROBI, Kenya - Pirates have seized a gas oil tanker and possibly another ship carrying food to Somalia in the latest of a series of hijackings off the lawless Horn of Africa nation, maritime officials said on Monday. “They say two more ships have been hijacked, we are still trying to know where in Somalia they were seized,” said Andrew Mwangura, of the Kenyan branch of the global Seafarers organization representing the maritime industry. ...[] MSNBC